Georgia’s Legislature convenes next week, and marijuana reform is already at the top of at least one Representative’s list. Georgia State Representative Allen Peake supports medical marijuana in the State of Georgia, and has made it clear that he wants to introduce a medical marijuana bill this session. But instead of expecting the Georgia Legislature to do the heavy lifting on passing and implementing the bill, he is hopeful that odds may be better to get a referendum placed on the 2018 ballot in Georgia. Per WABE:
“We still face some stiff opposition from law enforcement as well as some faith-based organizations,” said Peake. “And that’s really what’s blocking us from moving forward at this time.”
With more states recently passing marijuana initiatives, including Florida next door, he’s working on a new strategy.
“Maybe the best solution is let’s let the Georgia citizens decide by referendum in 2018, and we’ll let the next governor decide how it’s implemented,” said Peake.
I have never been to Georgia, but I definitely believe that it’s a tough place to achieve marijuana reform. Georgia is very conservative, and expanding the state’s medical marijuana program from CBD-only to a more comprehensive program is not going to be an easy task. But it’s a worthwhile pursuit as there are many suffering patients in Georgia, and the current CBD-only program leaves a vast majority of them unprotected, and all of them without safe access to medical marijuana. Florida, Louisiana, and Arkansas all recently legalized medical marijuana (beyond CBD-only) which increases Georgia’s chances of achieving a more sensible, compassionate medical marijuana program.
image via Georgia Women on Wheels